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The global art auction turnover in 2022 reached an impressive total of $16.5 billion, with the American market playing a major role in the remarkable sales and continuing to dominate the high-end segment. Nevertheless, Fine Art auction sales on a global scale were stabilized by strong showings in France, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland, marking these amongst the top contenders for art capital of the world in 2023.

The Art Capital of the World

Among the three major forces in the global art market (USA, China, UK) for 2022, the United States emerged as the most dynamic, achieving its highest-ever annual art auction turnover of $7.3 billion, representing a 26% increase from the previous year. This figure was significantly ahead of China, partially due to the impact of the pandemic.

Top Countries by Fine Art and NFT Auction Turnover for 2022

Thus, in 2022, 44% of the global art auction turnover was attributed to the dominance of the American market. This was primarily due to the fact that the most valuable artworks were mostly sold in New York, with 25 out of the 29 works that fetched over 50 million dollars being sold there. Additionally, the United States hosted the highest number of transactions, accounting for over 22% of the global art auction transactions in 2022.

Top 4 countries by Fine Art and NFT auction turnover (2022)

1. US – $7.3B
2. China – $3.9B
3. UK – $2.1B
4. Europe – $1.72B

In Europe, the top 3 countries contributing to the global art auction turnover totals reported here are:

  • France – $991M: France continues to be a major center for art and culture. The city is home to some of the world’s most famous museums, including the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou.
  • Germany – $379M: A major center for contemporary art in recent years, Germany features many galleries, museums, and art events. The city is home to the Hamburger Bahnhof, the Berlinische Galerie, and the Neue Nationalgalerie.
  • Italy – $190M: Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Italy remains an important center for art and culture today and features many museums, including the Uffizi Gallery, the Bargello, and the Accademia Gallery.

In an unexpected twist, 100% of the most popular searches for April 2023 across Twitter were for artworks that originated not in the top 3 countries above, but in Europe, mostly during the Baroque and Renaissance eras. And with three out of five of those originating in Italy, it’s no wonder the country features on this list, too.



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The Curator